Hiking to the Falls

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IMG_0888Scott had been hoping for us to take a hike down from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley.  It would be our longest hike, but it would have been all down hill and we would pass both Nevada and Vernal Falls.  Given our kids fascination with water falls, this seemed like a fun hike.  Unfortunately, we learned too late that there was no shuttle from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point, and the only way we could do this plan was if we had pre purchased tickets for a special shuttle that left early in the morning. 

So, we opted for plan B, which we weren’t as excited about, but ended up being great.

We took advantage of our campsite in Yosemite Valley and hiked through the woods behind our campsite to the beginning of a trail which would lead to Vernal Falls.  Unlike plan A, this trail went UP from the valley to the falls.  Because it was an upward hike, we were planning to go to the footbridge at the base of Vernal Falls and then maybe see about hiking all the way to the top, if we felt like it. 


The climb to the base of the falls was pretty steady and we stopped for water breaks many times.  In my head I thought, “yea, I think we will be fine just stopping at the footbridge.”  Only when we got to the footbridge, the falls was still a long way off and it really wasn’t an impressive view.  We all agreed we must press on.  

You didn’t have to hike too much farther to get a MUCH better view of the falls.  We stopped here for a snack.  And since I am not really a fan of heights, I was thinking, “Yea… I am good…. no need to go further.”  But, the rest of the crazy bunch was eager for more. 




To be honest, I was a tad grumpy for this next section.  It was a rather steep climb, I felt like all I could do was watch the step in front of me and try not to freak about the kids.  In truth, the kids and Scott were all great.  They weren’t going too close to the sides.  They were fine.  I was just a grump.







And Vernal falls was very beautiful and worth it.




It is also very large.  If you look carefully, you can see a person on the right side of this next photo…




We had hit another decision point.  We were basically at the top but there was that spot on the right… and to get to be where that spot was you had to go on up the last part which was a cliff side incline.


IMG_0958As you may have gathered, Scott and I have different personalities.   And I am the wimp of the two of us.  But, in our 15 years of marriage, I really feel like we have learned to work through these differences well.  Sometimes, I just bow out.  I know my limits and I recognize when no I can’t just push through and doing so just to be with the rest, will only ruin their fun b/c I will be a complete spazz the entire time.  Sometimes I sit on the side and Scott takes the kids to overlooks.  And I am ok missing the view.  And Scott gets it and doesn’t even give me a hard time.  Othertimes, he (and the kids) inspire me to push past the fear and share in the experience with them.  Scott gave me an out here.  He told me “Look, you can sit here, the kids and I will go to the top and then we will come down.  I get that you wouldn’t want to do it.”  But, this time, I didn’t want to miss the experience.  I chose to dig deep and press on. 


The view at the top wasn’t that spectacular.  We all agreed the falls were prettier from below.  But, that feeling of accomplishment of having pushed passed my fear, was so much grander than the view.  And this shot of all 6 of us together at the top became quite valuable to me.



Once we reached the top, we learned we could go down another route.  Scott and I were both quite happy to skip out on going down those steep sandy steps.  Even though it meant climbing higher to another point and then taking a longer descent down so we could go on a switch back trail.    So after lunch in the shade where the kids could dip their feet in a little pool of water and climb on rocks, we set out to finish the trail.  As an unexpected bonus, it took us to an overlook of Nevada Falls.  We got to see them both after all!

 Nevada Falls


IMG_0989It had us climbing quite a bit in the sun.  The kids did awesome.  We took it slow and steady.  This was Scott’s turn to be nervous as he was concerned about our water supply.  We hadn’t originally planned to go this far (the path we chose was less dangerous but was longer).  We were OK, but we were short and had to manage things a bit closer.  The entire hike we were surounded by the beautiful Yosemite Granit Canyon.





IMG_0982  IMG_0985


IMG_0770We made it back to the campsite 5 hours after we set out.  Our feet were tired, but we were all pretty happy.  When we got back and looked at the pictures we had taken from Glacier Point the night before, you could see our hike… Here it is in red in the picture beside us. We chilled at the campsite for awhile and then took an evening drive around the valley.  We ate our dinner in a meadow.  On one side we faced Half Dome and the other was Yosemite Falls.  Pretty wonderful dinner view.







Yosemite Falls - Late July 2016 

The state of California has been suffering from severe drought the past several years.  All I can say is the circus fam did their part to conserve water.  You can count on 1 hand the number of showers we have had since entering the state.  I am good with not showering every day… however, I have determined that 4 days is my limit.  Momma gets a bit cranky after 4 days of not showering and will pay pretty much any price for a hot shower.  $5 was a steal of a deal.   The kids cleaned off in the river bed.  The ice cold river bed.  At least it got the layer of dirt washed off of them. 




It was a long but fun day and we went to sleep that good kinda tired.


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